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Common Grammatical Errors

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Kelli Lewis

on 12 September 2013

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Transcript of Common Grammatical Errors

Common Grammatical Errors
Too, To, Two
: 1. going towards something;

(before a noun)
Ex. We went

the store

do an action
(before a verb)
Ex. to run, to walk, to bike, to play basketball

: the number 2, quantity (twins, twice);

: means also, or as well
Ex.: "
me too
Reflexive Pronouns
Reflexive pronouns are the -self forms of pronouns.

myself, itself, yourself, ourselves, himself, herself, yourselves, themselves

1. Write a sentence down for two of these reflexive pronouns.

2. Flip over your paper when you are done.
Possessive Apostrophe:
It's vs. Its
is used for
to show possession.

Examples: The dog is using

the wheelchair that is propelling the dog forward.
Affect vs. Effect
1. What do you think this song is about?
2. What in the video portrays this?
3. How did you know what the video was about despite the language barrier?
4. How do you think this relates to grammar?
Subject-Verb Agreement
Parallel Structure
Parallel Structure: using the same construction for sentence elements that are the same in function.
Which vs. That
A nonrestrictive clause
can be eliminated from a sentence

without losing the basic meaning of the sentence.
We should use the word which for these types of clauses. Nonrestrictive clauses will be set apart from the rest of the sentence by
dashes, commas, or parentheses
as in these three
The watch--
had been in her family for over sixty years--was stolen.
Jamie’s kite,
was blue and green, was flying high in the sky.
Tiffany’s graduation speech (
had caused a great deal of controversy at the commencement ceremony) was printed in the local paper.
Affect defn.:
to influence

Part of speech:
usually verb

Effect defn.:
a result
Part of speech:
usually noun

How to remember:

Write down 1 example of each
1. Use of either…or and Neither…nor

2. Use of either…or and Neither…nor, anybody, everybody, everything, another, little, much

3. Use of such compound subjects as Sam and Angie or Indefinite plural pronouns such as several, few, many, most, others, both

4. The use of an appositive or parenthetical phrase, set off by commas and such words as plus or as well as.
1. Make the verb agree with the closer subject
Ex. Neither my aunt nor my cousins are coming.

2. Use a singular verb.
Ex. Neither wants to get up at 7:00am
Nobody is here.

3. Use a plural verb.
Ex. Sam and Angie are going.
Several of us are angry.

4. Make the verb agree with the main subject. The appositive is something extra that does not affect the verb.
Ex. My nephew, plus two or three friends, is coming with us.
1. Parallel Structure should be used
when elements are joined by coordinating conjunctions
: I am allergic to the dog’s hair and how it smells.
: I am allergic to the dog’s hair and its smell.
2. Parallel Structure should be used
when writing elements in the form of a list or a series
: The class valued respect, honesty, and being on time in a teacher.
: The class valued respect, honesty, and promptness in a teacher.
3. Parallel Structure should be used
when comparing or contrasting elements
(A is better than B – X is less than Y):
: James enjoys reading more than to write.
: James enjoys reading more than writing.
A restrictive clause
a clause that is vital to the meaning of the sentence
. Don’t even try to take these clauses out of the sentence unless you really want to change the meaning! We use the word
to mark these types of clauses. Because restrictive clauses are vital to sentences,
they will not be set apart with punctuation
as shown in these examples.
After you have read the sentences, go back and circle the clauses (the part that begins with that). If you read what’s left of the sentences, you can see that much of the meaning has been lost or changed.
The dog
is running down the street is mine.
The watch
my mother bought me for my birthday is my favorite watch!
The tests
I have studied for usually go really well.
Taken from: http://english.clas.asu.edu/files/shared/enged/ReflexivePronouns.pdf

Taken from: http://www.grammar.cl/Notes/Reflexive_Pronouns.htm
Adapted from: http://english.clas.asu.edu/files/shared/enged/TooToandTwo.pdf
Taken from: http://english.clas.asu.edu/files/shared/enged/VerbAgreement.pdf
Taken from: http://english.clas.asu.edu/files/shared/enged/ParallelStructure.pdf
Taken from: http://english.clas.asu.edu/files/shared/enged/RvsNRClauses_2ndEx.pdf
When to use reflexive pronouns

When the subject and the object refer to the same person or thing
He accidentally cut himself while he was chopping the vegetables.
She bought a present for herself.
We helped ourselves to the free drinks at the launch party.
They injured themselves during the rugby match.
I enjoyed myself at the concert.
The dog is scratching itself – it must have fleas!
We use them for emphasis
The author signed the book for me herself!
I did it myself.
In some cases we use it to have a similar meaning to also
Annabelle was pretty happy last night. I was pretty happy myself.
to use reflexive pronouns

There are a number of verbs in English with which we rarely or never use reflexive pronouns
(as they are in other languages).
They include:
adapt, behave, complain, concentrate, get up, hide, lie down, meet, move, relax, remember, shave, shower, sit down
After a preposition

of place or location

we use a personal pronoun and
a reflexive pronoun
He put the backpack next to him.
Reflexive Pronoun Test

Who is doing the action?
Semi-Colon Use
1. A semicolon is most commonly used to link (in a single sentence) two independent clauses that are closely related in thought.
Ex. Some people write with a word processor; others write with a pen or pencil.
2. Use a semicolon between two independent clauses that are connected by conjunctive adverbs or transitional phrases.
Ex. But however they choose to write, people are allowed to make their own decisions; as a result, many people swear by their writing methods.
3. Use a semicolon between items in a list or series if any of the items contain commas.
Ex. There are basically two ways to write: with a pen or pencil, which is inexpensive and easily accessible; or by computer and printer, which is more expensive but quick and neat.
4. Use a semicolon between independent clauses joined by a coordinating conjunction if the clauses are already punctuated with commas or if the clauses are lengthy.
Ex. Some people write with a word processor, typewriter, or a computer; but others, for different reasons, choose to write with a pen or pencil.
Colon Use
1. Use to introduce a list of items.
2. Only use for lists that follow a complete sentence.
3. Capitalization and punctuation are optional when using single words or phrases in bulleted form.
4. Use a colon instead of a semicolon between two sentences when the second sentence explains or illustrates the first sentence and no coordinating conjunction is being used to connect the sentences. If only one sentence follows the colon, do not capitalize the first word of the new sentence. If two or more sentences follow the colon, capitalize the first word of each sentence following.
5. Use the colon to introduce a direct quotation that is more than three lines in length.
6. Use the colon to follow the salutation of a business letter even when addressing someone by his/her first name. Never use a semicolon after a salutation. A comma is used after the salutation for personal correspondence.
Taken from: http://writing.wisc.edu/Handbook/Semicolons.html
Taken from: http://www.grammarbook.com/punctuation/colons.asp
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